The House of Habsburg (ɡ/; German: [ˈhaːpsbʊʁk]; alternatively spelled Hapsburg in English), also officially called the House of Austria (Haus Österreich in German, Casa de Austria in Spanish), was one of the most influential and distinguished royal houses of Europe. The throne of the Holy Roman Empire was continuously occupied by the Habsburgs from 1438 until their extinction in the male line in 1740. The house also produced kings of Bohemia, Hungary, Croatia, Galicia, Portugal and Spain with their respective colonies, as well as rulers of several principalities in the Netherlands and Italy. From the 16th century, following the reign of Charles V, the dynasty was split between its Austrian and Spanish branches. Although they ruled distinct territories, they nevertheless maintained close relations and frequently intermarried.
The House takes its name from Habsburg Castle, a fortress built in the 1020s in present-day Switzerland, in the canton of Aargau, by Count Radbot of Klettgau, who named his fortress Habsburg. His grandson Otto II was the first to take the fortress name as his own, adding "Count of Habsburg" to his title. The House of Habsburg gathered dynastic momentum through the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries. In 1273, Count Radbot's seventh generation descendant Rudolph of Habsburg became Roman-German King. He moved the family's power base to the Duchy of Austria, which the Habsburgs ruled until 1918.
The House of Habsburg became extinct in the male line in the 18th century. The senior Spanish branch ended upon the death of Charles II of Spain in 1700 and was replaced by the House of Bourbon. The remaining Austrian branch became extinct in the male line in 1740 with the death of Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI. It was succeeded by the descendants of his eldest daughter Maria Theresa's marriage to Francis III, Duke of Lorraine. The successor house styled itself formally as the House of Habsburg-Lorraine (German: Habsburg-Lothringen); because it was often still referred to as the House of Habsburg, historians use the appellation of the Habsburg Monarchy for the countries and provinces that were ruled by the family until 1918. The House of Habsburg-Lorraine continues to exist to this day and its members use the Habsburg name, for example Karl von Habsburg.
The Habsburg Empire had the advantage of size, but multiple disadvantages. There were rivals on four sides, its finances were unstable, the population was fragmented into multiple ethnicities, and its industrial base was thin. Its naval resources were so minimal that it did not attempt to build an overseas empire. It did have the advantage of good diplomats, typified by Prince Metternich; they had a grand strategy for survival that kept the empire going despite wars with the Ottomans, Frederick the Great, Napoleon and Bismarck, until the final disaster of the First World War. Along with the Capetian dynasty, it was one of the two most powerful continental European royal families, dominating European politics for nearly five centuries.
The progenitor of the House of Habsburg may have been Guntram the Rich, a count in the Breisgau who lived in the 10th century, and forthwith farther back as the early medieval Adalrich, Duke of Alsace, father of the Etichonids from which Habsburg derives. His grandson Radbot, Count of Habsburg founded the Habsburg Castle, after which the Habsburgs are named. The origins of the castle's name, located in what is now the Swiss canton of Aargau, are uncertain. There is disagreement on whether the name is derived from the High GermanHabichtsburg (hawk castle), or from the Middle High German word hab/hap meaning ford, as there is a river with a ford nearby. The first documented use of the name by the dynasty itself has been traced to the year 1108.The Habsburg Castle was the family seat in the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries.
The Habsburgs expanded their influence through arranged marriages and by gaining political privileges, especially countship rights in Zürichgau, Aargau and Thurgau. In the 13th century, the house aimed its marriage policy at families in Upper Alsace and Swabia. They were also able to gain high positions in the church hierarchy for their members. Territorially, they often profited from the extinction of other noble families such as the House of Kyburg.
Kings of the Romans and consolidation in the Eastern Alps
In a crucial step towards the creation of his own power base in the Eastern Alps, Rudolph led a coalition against king Ottokar II of Bohemia who had taken advantage of the Great Interregnum in order to expand southwards, taking over first the Babenberg (Austria, Styria, Savinja), and then the Spanheim inheritance (Carinthia and Carniola). In 1278, Ottokar was defeated and killed in the Battle of Marchfeld. The lands he had acquired in the previous decades were reverted to the German crown. In 1282, the Habsburgs gained for themselves the rulership of the duchies of Austria and Styria, which they then held for over 600 years, until 1918. The southern portions of Ottokar's former realm, Carinthia, Carniola, and Savinja, were granted to Rudolph's allies from the House of Gorizia. The resulting arrangement, known as the "Habsburg-Gorizia equilibrium in the Eastern Alps" lasted for half a decade.
After Rudolph's death, the Habsburgs failed to maintain the Roman kingship. In the 1300s, their attempt to gain the Bohemian crown was frustrated first by Henry of Bohemia and finally by the House of Luxembourg. However, the weakening of the House of Gorizia in this succession struggle enabled them to expand southwards: in 1311, they took over the Savinja, and after the death of Henry of Bohemia in 1335, they assumed power in Carniola and in Carinthia. In 1369, they would succeed his daughter in Tyrol, as well. After the death of Albert III of Gorizia in 1374, they gained their first foothold on the Adriatic, in central Istria (Mitterburg), followed by Trieste in 1382. The original home territories of the Habsburgs, the Aargau with Habsburg Castle and much of the other original possessions in what is now Switzerland were lost in the 14th century to the expanding Swiss Confederacy after the battles of Morgarten (1315) and Sempach (1386).
Through the forged privilegium maius document (1358/59), a special bond was created between the House of Habsburg and Austria. The document, forged at the behest of Rudolf IV, Duke of Austria (1339–1365), also attempted to introduce rules to preserve the unity of the family's Austrian lands. In the long term, this indeed succeeded, but Rudolph's brothers ignored the rule, leading to the separation of the Albertian and Leopoldian family lines in 1379: the former would maintain Austria proper, while the latter would rule over Styria, Carinthia, Carniola, which became known as Inner Austria, as well as Tyrol and the original Habsburg lands in Swabia, now known as Further Austria.
By marrying Elisabeth of Luxembourg, the daughter of Holy Roman EmperorSigismund in 1437, Duke Albert V (1397–1439) of the Albertine line became the ruler of Bohemia and Hungary, expanding the family's political horizons. The next year, Albert V was crowned as the King of the Romans as Albert II. After his early death in war with the Turks in 1439, and after the death of his son Ladislaus Postumus in 1457, the Habsburgs lost Bohemia and Hungary again. National kingdoms were established in these areas, and the Habsburgs were not able to restore their influence there for decades. With Ladislaus's death, the Albertine line died out, and the Leopoldian line took over all the family possessions.
Holy Roman emperors
Growth of the Habsburg Empire in Central Europe
In 1440, Frederick III was chosen by the electoral college to succeed Albert II as the king. Several Habsburg kings had attempted to gain the imperial throne over the years, but success finally arrived on 19 March 1452, when Pope Nicholas V crowned Frederick III as the Holy Roman Emperor in a grand ceremony held in Rome. In Frederick III, the Pope found an important political ally with whose help he was able to counter the conciliar movement.
While in Rome, Frederick III married Eleanor of Portugal, enabling him to build a network of connections with dynasties in the west and southeast of Europe. Frederick was rather distant to his family; Eleanor, by contrast, had a great influence on the raising and education of Frederick's children and therefore played an important role in the family's rise to prominence. After Frederick III's coronation, the Habsburgs were able to hold the imperial throne almost continuously for centuries, until 1806.
As emperor, Frederick III took a leading role inside the family and positioned himself as the judge over the family's internal conflicts, often making use of the privilegium maius. He was able to restore the unity of the house's Austrian lands, as the Albertinian line was now extinct. Territorial integrity was also strengthened by the extinction of the Tyrolean branch of the Leopoldian line in 1490/1496. Frederick's aim was to make Austria a united country, stretching from the Rhine to the Mur and Leitha.
After the death of his father in 1493, Maximilian has proclaimed the new King of the Romans, receiving the name Maximilian I. Maximilian was initially unable to travel to Rome to receive the Imperial title from the Pope, due to opposition from Venice and from the French who were occupying Milan, as well a refusal from the Pope due to enemy forces being present on his territory. In 1508, Maximilian proclaimed himself as the "chosen Emperor," and this was also recognized by the Pope due to changes in political alliances. This had a historical consequence in that, in the future, the Roman King would also automatically become Emperor, without needing the Pope's consent. In 1530, Emperor Charles V became the last person to be crowned as the Emperor by the Pope.
A map of the dominion of the Habsburgs following the Battle of Mühlberg (1547) as depicted in The Cambridge Modern History Atlas (1912); Habsburg lands are shaded green but do not include the lands of the Holy Roman Empire over which they presided, nor the vast Castilian holdings outside of Europe, particularly in the New World.
Maximilian's rule (1493–1519) was a time of great expansion for the Habsburgs. In 1497, Maximilian's son Philip the Handsome (also known as Phillip the Fair) married Joanna of Castile, also known as Joan the Mad, heiress of Castile, Aragon, and most of Spain. Phillip and Joan had six children, the eldest of whom became emperor Charles V and inherited the kingdoms of Castile and Aragon (including their colonies in the New World) as Charles I, Southern Italy, Austria, and the Low Countries.
The foundations for the later empire of Austria-Hungary were laid in 1515 by the means of a double wedding between Louis, only son of Vladislaus II, King of Bohemia and Hungary, and Maximilian's granddaughter Mary; and between her brother Archduke Ferdinand and Vladislaus' daughter Anna. The wedding was celebrated in grand style on 22 July 1515 and has been described by some historians as the First Congress of Vienna due to its significant implications for Europe's political landscape. All the children were still minors, so the wedding was formally completed in 1521. Vladislaus died on 13 March 1516, and Maximilian died on 12 January 1519, but his designs were ultimately successful: on Louis's death in 1526, Maximilian's grandson and Charles V's brother Ferdinand, became the King of Bohemia.
The Spanish and Austrian Habsburg Dominions in 1700, not showing their overseas empire, but showing the division between the Spanish and Austrian branch with their losses and gains.
After the abdication of Charles V in 1556, the Habsburg dynasty split into the branch of the Austrian Habsburgs (or German Habsburgs) and the branch of the Spanish Habsburgs.Ferdinand I, King of Bohemia, Hungary, and archduke of Austria in the name of his brother Charles V became suo jure monarch as well as the Habsburg Holy Roman Emperor (designated as successor already in 1531). Philip II of Spain, son of Charles V, became King of Spain and its colonial empire, and ruler of the Mezzogiorno of Italy. The Spanish Habsburgs also ruled Portugal for a time (1580–1640).
Numerous members of the family show specific facial deformities: an enlarged lower jaw with an extended chin known as mandibular prognathism or "Habsburg jaw", a large nose with hump and hanging tip ("Habsburg nose"), and an everted lower lip ("Habsburg lip"). The latter two are signs of maxillary deficiency. A 2019 study found that the degree of mandibular prognasthism in the Habsburg family shows a statistically significant correlation with the degree of inbreeding. A correlation between maxillary deficiency and degree of inbreeding was also present but was not statistically significant.
Extinction of the Spanish Habsburgs
The gene pool eventually became so small that the last of the Spanish line Charles II, who was severely disabled from birth, perhaps by genetic disorders, possessed a genome comparable to that of a child born to a brother and sister, as did his father, probably because of "remote inbreeding".
The Austrian branch became extinct in the male line in 1740 with the death of Charles VI and in the female line in 1780 with the death of his daughter Maria Theresa; it was succeeded by the Vaudemont branch of the House of Lorraine in the person of her son Joseph II. The new successor house styled itself formally as House of Habsburg-Lorraine (German: Habsburg-Lothringen), although it was often referred to as simply the House of Habsburg. The heiress of the last Austrian Habsburgs Maria Theresa had married Francis Stephan, Duke of Lorraine (both of them were great-grandchildren of Habsburg Emperor Ferdinand III, but from different empresses). Their descendants carried on the Habsburg tradition from Vienna under the dynastic name Habsburg-Lorraine, although technically a new ruling house came into existence in the Habsburg-ruled territories, the House of Lorraine (see Dukes of Lorraine family tree). It is thought that extensive intra-family marriages within both lines contributed to their extinction.
On 6 August 1806 the Holy Roman Empire was dissolved under the French Emperor Napoleon I's reorganization of Germany. However, in anticipation of the loss of his title of Holy Roman Emperor, Francis II declared himself hereditary Emperor of Austria (as Francis I) on 11 August 1804, three months after Napoleon had declared himself Emperor of the French on 18 May 1804.
The Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867 created a real union, whereby the Kingdom of Hungary was granted co-equality with the Empire of Austria, that henceforth didn't include the Kingdom of Hungary as a crownland anymore. The Austrian and the Hungarian lands became independent entities enjoying equal status. Under this arrangement, the Hungarians referred to their ruler as king and never emperor (see k. u. k.). This prevailed until the Habsburgs' deposition from both Austria and Hungary in 1918 following defeat in World War I.
An ethno-linguistic map of Austria–Hungary, 1910
On 11 November 1918, with his empire collapsing around him, the last Habsburg ruler, Charles I of Austria (who also reigned as Charles IV of Hungary) issued a proclamation recognizing Austria's right to determine the future of the state and renouncing any role in state affairs. Two days later, he issued a separate proclamation for Hungary. Even though he did not officially abdicate, this is considered the end of the Habsburg dynasty. In 1919, the new republican Austrian government subsequently passed a law banishing the Habsburgs from Austrian territory until they renounced all intentions of regaining the throne and accepted the status of private citizens. Charles made several attempts to regain the throne of Hungary, and in 1921 the Hungarian government passed a law that revoked Charles' rights and dethroned the Habsburgs.
The Habsburgs did not formally abandon all hope of returning to power until Otto von Habsburg, the eldest son of Charles I, on 31 May 1961 renounced all claims to the throne.
The dynasty's motto was "Leave the waging of wars to others! But you, happy Austria, marry; for the realms which Mars awards to others, Venus transfers to you."
Family tree of the ancestors of the Habsburg family, largely before becoming Holy Roman Emperors and (Arch)Dukes of Austria. This family tree only includes male scions of the House of Habsburg from 920 to 1308.Otto II was probably the first to take the Habsburg Castle name as his own, adding "von Habsburg" to his title and creating the House of Habsburg. See below for more references.
Similarly, this family tree only includes male scions of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine who survived to adulthood:
Monarchs of the House of Habsburg
The Habsburg Empire was never composed of a single unified and unitary state as Bourbon France, Hohenzollern Germany, or Great Britain was. It was made up of an accretion of territories that owed their historic loyalty to the head of the house of Habsburg as hereditary lord. The Habsburgs had mostly married the heiresses of these territories, most famously of Spain and the Netherlands. They used their coats of arms then as a statement of their right to rule all these territories. As there were many territories, so their arms were complex and reflected the waxing and waning position of the Habsburgs within European power politics. It was not until the 19th century (see below Arms of Dominion of the Austro-Hungarian Empire) that the arms began to take on their own life as symbols of a state which may have an existence outside of the Habsburg dynasty. A complete listing of the arms can be found at the Habsburg Armory.
Guntram the Rich (ca. 930–985 / 990) Father of: The chronology of the Muri Abbey, burial place of the early Habsburgs, written in the 11th century, states that Guntramnus Dives (Guntram the Rich), was the ancestor of the House of Habsburg. Many historians believe this indeed makes Guntram the progenitor of the House of Habsburg. However, this account was 200 years after the fact, and much about him and the origins of the Habsburgs is uncertain. If true, as Guntram was a member of the Etichonider family, it would link the Habsburg lineage to this family.
Lanzelin of Altenburg (died 991). Besides Radbot, below, he had sons named Rudolph I, Wernher, and Landolf.
Counts of Habsburg
Arms of the Counts of Habsburgs. The Habsburgs all but abandoned this for the arms of Austria. It only reappeared in their triarch family arms in 1805.
Radbot of Klettgau, built the Habsburg Castle (c. 985 – 1035). Besides Werner I, he had two other sons: Otto I, who would become Count of Sundgau in the Alsace, and Albrecht I. Founded the Muri Abbey, which became the first burial place of members of the House of Habsburg. It is possible that Radbot founded the castle Habichtsburg, the residence of the House of Habsburg, but another possible founder is Werner I.
Werner I, Count of Habsburg (1025/1030–1096). Besides Otto II, there was another son, Albert II, who was reeve of Muri from 1111–1141 after the death of Otto II.
Otto II of Habsburg; first to name himself as "of Habsburg" (died 1111) Father of:
Werner II of Habsburg (around 1135; died 1167) Father of:
The Habsburg dukes gradually lost their homelands south of the Rhine and Lake Constance to the expanding Old Swiss Confederacy. Unless mentioned explicitly, the dukes of Austria also ruled over Further Austria until 1379, after that year, Further Austria was ruled by the Princely Count of Tyrol. Names in italics designate dukes who never actually ruled.
When Albert's son Duke Rudolf IV of Austria died in 1365, his younger brothers Albert III and Leopold III quarrelled about his heritage and in the Treaty of Neuberg of 1379 finally split the Habsburg territories: The Albertinian line would rule in the Archduchy of Austria proper (then sometimes referred to as "Lower Austria" (Niederösterreich), but comprising modern Lower Austria and most of Upper Austria), while the Leopoldian line ruled in the Styrian, Carinthian and Carniolan territories, subsumed under the denotation of "Inner Austria". At that time their share also comprised Tyrol and the original Habsburg possessions in Swabia, called Further Austria; sometimes both were collectively referred to as "Upper Austria" (Oberösterreich) in that context, also not to be confused with the modern state of that name.
After the death of Leopold's eldest son William in 1406, the Leopoldinian line was further split among his brothers into the Inner Austrian territory under Ernest the Iron and a Tyrolean/Further Austrian line under Frederick IV. In 1457 Ernest's son Duke Frederick V of Inner Austria also gained the Austrian archduchy after his Albertine cousin Ladislaus the Posthumous had died without issue. 1490 saw the reunification of all Habsburg lines when Archduke Sigismund of Further Austria and Tyrol resigned in favor of Frederick's son Maximilian I. In 1512, the Habsburg territories were incorporated into the Imperial Austrian Circle.
The archducal title was only officially recognized in 1453 by Emperor Frederick III. Emperor Frederick III himself used just "Duke of Austria", never Archduke, until his death in 1493. The title was first granted to Frederick's younger brother, Albert VI of Austria (died 1463), who used it at least from 1458.
In 1477, Frederick III also granted the title archduke to his first cousin, Sigismund of Austria, ruler of Further Austria.Frederick's son and heir, the future Emperor Maximilian I, started to use the title, but apparently only after the death of his wife Mary of Burgundy (died 1482), as Archduke never appears in documents issued jointly by Maximilian and Mary as rulers in the Low Countries (where Maximilian is still titled "Duke of Austria"). The title appears first in documents issued under the joint rule of Maximilian and Philip (his under-age son) in the Low Countries.
Archduke was initially borne by those dynasts who ruled a Habsburg territory, i.e., only by males and their consorts, appanages being commonly distributed to cadets. But these "junior" archdukes did not thereby become independent hereditary rulers, since all territories remained vested in the Austrian crown. Occasionally a territory might be combined with a separate gubernatorial mandate ruled by an archducal cadet.
From the 16th century onward, archduke and its female form, archduchess, came to be used by all the members of the House of Habsburg (e.g., Queen Marie Antoinette of France was born Archduchess Maria Antonia of Austria.
Rudolph II, son of Rudolph I, duke of Austria and Styria together with his brother 1282–1283, was dispossessed by his brother, who eventually would be murdered by one of Rudolph's sons.
Rudolph III, the oldest son of Albert I, designated duke of Austria and Styria 1298–1307
Frederick the Handsome (Friedrich der Schöne), brother of Rudolph III. Duke of Austria and Styria (with his brother Leopold I) from 1308–1330; officially co-regent of the emperor Louis IV since 1325, but never ruled.
Leopold I, brother of the above, duke of Austria and Styria from 1308–1326.
Albert II (Albrecht II), brother of the above, duke of Further Austria from 1326–1358, duke of Austria and Styria 1330–1358, duke of Carinthia after 1335.
Otto the Jolly (der Fröhliche), brother of the above, duke of Austria and Styria 1330–1339 (together with his brother), duke of Carinthia after 1335.
Frederick IV (Friedrich), brother of Ernst, 1402–1439 duke of Tyrol and Further Austria
Sigismund, also spelled Siegmund or Sigmund, 1439–1446 under the tutelage of the Frederick V above, then duke of Tyrol, and after the death of Albrecht VI in 1463 also duke of Further Austria.
Reuniting of Habsburg possessions
Sigismund had no children and adopted Maximilian I, son of duke Frederick V (emperor Frederick III). Under Maximilian, the possessions of the Habsburgs would be united again under one ruler, after he had re-conquered the Duchy of Austria after the death of Matthias Corvinus, who resided in Vienna and styled himself duke of Austria from 1485–1490.
King of the Romans and Holy Roman Emperors prior to the reunion of the Habsburg possessions
The title Archduke of Austria, the one most famously associated with the Habsburgs, was invented in the Privilegium Maius, a 14th-century forgery initiated by Duke Rudolf IV of Austria. Originally, it was meant to denote the ruler of the (thus 'Arch')duchy of Austria, in an effort to put that ruler on par with the Prince-electors, as Austria had been passed over in the Golden Bull of 1356, when the electorships had been assigned. Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV refused to recognize the title. Ladislaus the Posthumous, Duke of Austria, who died in 1457, was never in his lifetime authorized to use it, and accordingly, not he nor anyone in his branch of the dynasty ever used the title.
Duke Ernest the Iron and his descendants unilaterally assumed the title "archduke". This title was only officially recognized in 1453 by his son, Emperor Frederick III, when the Habsburgs had (permanently) gained control of the office of the Holy Roman Emperor. Emperor Frederick III himself used just Duke of Austria, never Archduke, until his death in 1493.
Frederick's son and heir, the future Emperor Maximilian I, started to use the title, but apparently only after the death of his wife Mary of Burgundy (died 1482) as the title never appears in documents of joint Maximilian and Mary rule in the Low Countries (where Maximilian is still titled Duke of Austria). The title appears first in documents of joint Maximilian and Philip (his under-age son) rule in the Low Countries. It only gained currency with Charles V and the descendants of his brother, the Emperor Ferdinand.
The reigning duke of Burgundy, Charles the Bold, was the chief political opponent of Maximilian's father Frederick III. Charles controlled not only Burgundy (both dukedom and county), but the wealthy and powerful Southern Netherlands, current Flanders, the real center of his power. Frederick was concerned about Burgundy's expansive tendencies on the western border of his Holy Roman Empire, and to forestall military conflict, he attempted to secure the marriage of Charles's only daughter, Mary of Burgundy, to his son Maximilian. After the Siege of Neuss (1474–75), he was successful. The wedding between Maximilian and Mary took place on the evening of 16 August 1477, after the death of Charles. Mary and the Habsburgs lost the Duchy of Burgundy to France, but managed to defend and hold onto the rest what became the 17 provinces of the Habsburg Netherlands. After Mary's death in 1482, Maximilian acted as regent for his son:
The Netherlands were frequently governed directly by a regent or governor-general, who was a collateral member of the Habsburgs. By the Pragmatic Sanction of 1549 Charles V combined the Netherlands into one administrative unit, to be inherited by his son Philip II. Charles effectively united the Netherlands as one entity. The Habsburgs controlled the 17 Provinces of the Netherlands until the Dutch Revolt in the second half of the 16th century, when they lost the seven northern Protestant provinces. They held onto the southern Catholic part (roughly modern Belgium and Luxembourg) as the Spanish and Austrian Netherlands until they were conquered by French Revolutionary armies in 1795. The one exception to this was the period of (1601–1621), when shortly before Philip II died on 13 September 1598, he renounced his rights to the Netherlands in favor of his daughter Isabella and her fiancé, Archduke Albert of Austria, a younger son of Emperor Maximilian II. The territories reverted to Spain on the death of Albert in 1621, as the couple had no surviving offspring, and Isabella acted as regent-governor until her death in 1633:
Coat of arms of Spanish Habsburgs (1581–1621 Version) showing the shield as kings of Portugal. Portugal regained its independence in 1640, and when Spain acknowledged this in 1668, it was removed.
Habsburg Spain was a personal union between the Crowns of Castile and Aragon; Aragon was itself divided into the Kingdoms of Aragon, Catalonia, Valencia, Majorca, Naples, Sicily, Malta and Sardinia. From 1581, they were kings of Portugal until they renounced this title in the 1668 Treaty of Lisbon. They were also Dukes of Milan, Lord of the Americas, and holder of multiple titles from territories within the Habsburg Netherlands. A full listing can be seen here.
House of Habsburg-Lorraine, main line: Emperors of Austria
Small Coat of Arms of the Austrian Empire adopted by Francis I in 1804. On the center is the Small (personal) Coat of arms of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine adopted by Emperor Francis I. It shows (left to right) the arms of Habsburg, which had all but been abandoned in favor of Austria when the Habsburgs acquired Austria, the Arms of Austria, and the Arms of Lorraine.
Francis I, Emperor of Austria 1804–1835: formerly Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor
Francis Stephen assigned the grand duchy of Tuscany to his second son Peter Leopold, who in turn assigned it to his second son upon his accession as Holy Roman Emperor. Tuscany remained the domain of this cadet branch of the family until Italian unification.
House of Habsburg-Lorraine (Austria-Este): Dukes of Modena
The duchy of Modena was assigned to a minor branch of the family by the Congress of Vienna. It was lost to Italian unification. The Dukes named their line the House of Austria-Este, as they were descended from the daughter of the last D'Este Duke of Modena.
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Kings of Hungary
The kingship of Hungary remained in the Habsburg family for centuries; but as the kingship was not strictly inherited (Hungary was an elective monarchy until 1687) and was sometimes used as a training ground for young Habsburgs, as "Palatine" of Hungary, the dates of rule do not always match those of the primary Habsburg possessions. Therefore, the kings of Hungary are listed separately.
After Václav III’s death, there were no male heirs remaining in the Přemyslid line. Therefore, with the election of Rudolf in 1306, the kingship of Bohemia was a position elected by its nobles, although often the crown was transferred through war, such as John of Bohemia in 1310. As a result, it was not an automatically inherited position. Until the rule of Ferdinand I, Habsburgs didn't gain hereditary accession to the throne and were displaced by other dynasties. Hence, the kings of Bohemia and their ruling dates are listed separately. The Habsburgs became hereditary kings of Bohemia in 1627. By their acquisition of the Bohemian Crown in 1526 the Habsburgs secured the highest rank among the secular prince-electors of the Holy Roman Empire.
Most royal families did not have a family name until the 19th century. They were known as "of" (in German von) based on the main territory they ruled. For example, sons, daughters, grandsons, and granddaughters of a ruling French King were known as "of France" (see Wikipedia on House of Bourbon). The name "Capet" was an invention of the French Revolutionaries. "Bourbon" was in some sense the name of the house as it was differentiated from the previous Valois kings. Princes and Princesses of the royal house of England were known as "of England", or later "Great Britain" (see House of Windsor) or "of" the main title associated with their parent (see Prince William of Wales). In the Middle Ages, princes of England were often known by the town or castle of their birth (see John of Gaunt, Henry Bolingbroke, or Henry of Monmouth). Even when the royal family had the last name (see House of Tudor, House of Stuart or House of Windsor), it was not used in their titles.
Similarly, the Habsburg name was used as one of the subsidiary titles of the rulers above, as in "Princely Count of Habsburg" (see above under Habsburg-Lorraine). The Habsburg arms (see above) were displayed only in the most complete (great arms) of the prince. The dynasty was known as the "house of Austria". Most of the princes above were known as Archduke XYZ "of Austria" and had no need for a surname. Charles V was known in his youth after his birthplace as "Charles of Ghent". When he became king of Spains he was known as "Charles of Spain", until he became emperor, when he was known as Charles V ("Charles Quint"). In Spain, the dynasty was known as the " casa de Austria", and illegitimate sons were given the title of "de Austria" (see Don Juan de Austria and Don Juan José de Austria). The arms displayed in their simplest form were those of Austria, which the Habsburgs had made their own, at times impaled with the arms of the Duchy of Burgundy (ancient).
Arms of Austria impaled with Burgundy (ancient). The most personal arms of Austrian princes from 1477 until 1740 (see here
Personal Arms of Joseph II and Marie Antoinette showing Austria impaled with Lorraine.
Tripartite personal arms of the "Habsburg" ruling house after 1805 showing the return to prominence of the Habsburg arms. Used today by most archdukes/archduchesses.
When Maria Theresa married the duke of Lorraine, Francis Stephen (see above), there was a desire to show that the ruling dynasty continued as did all its inherited rights, as the ruling dynasty's right to rule was based on inherited legitimate birthright in each of the constituent territories. Using the concept of "Habsburg" as the traditional Austrian ruler was one of those ways. When Francis I became Emperor of Austria, there was an even further reinforcement of this by the reappearance of the arms of Habsburg in the tripart personal arms of the house with Austria and Lorraine. This also reinforced the "Germanness" of the Austrian Emperor and his claim to rule in Germany against the Prussian Kings, or at least to be included in "Germany". As Emperor Francis Joseph wrote to Napoleon III „Nein, ich bin ein Deutscher Fürst“  In the genealogical table above, some younger sons who had no prospects of the throne, were given the personal title of "count of Habsburg".
Today, as the dynasty is no longer on the throne, the surname of members of the house is taken to be "von Habsburg" or more completely "von Habsburg-Lothringen" (see Otto von Habsburg and Karl von Habsburg). Princes and members of the house use the Tripartite arms shown above, generally forgoing any imperial pretensions.
Arms of Dominion of the Austro-Hungarian Empire
The arms of dominion began to take on a life of their own in the 19th century as the idea of the state as independent from the Habsburg dynasty took root. They are the national arms as borne by a sovereign in his capacity as head of state and represent the state as separate from the person of the monarch or his dynasty. That very idea had been, heretofore, foreign to the concept of the Habsburg state. The state had been the personal property of the Habsburg dynasty. Since the states, territories, and nationalities represented were in many cases only united to the Austro-Hungarian Empire by their historic loyalty to the head of the house of Habsburg as hereditary lord, these full ("grand") arms of dominion of Austria-Hungary reflect the complex political infrastructure that was necessarily to accommodate the many different nationalities and groupings within the empire after the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867.
Shield of the Austrian part of the empire (1867–1915).
The western or Austrian part of the empire, Cisleithania, continued using the shield of the Empire in 1815 but with the seals of various member territories located around the central shield. Paradoxically, some of these coats of arms belonged to the territories that were part of the Hungarian part of the empire and shield. This shield, the most frequently used until 1915, was known as the middle shield. There was also the small shield, with just the personal arms of the Habsburgs, as used in 1815.
In 1915, in the middle of World War I, Austria-Hungary adopted a heraldic composition uniting the shield that was used in the Hungarian part, also known as the Lands of the Crown of St. Stephen, with a new version of the medium shield of the Austrian part as depicted above in the section on the mainline of the Emperors of Austria.
Before 1915, the arms of the different territories of the Austrian part of the Empire (heraldry was added to some areas not shown in the previous version and to the left to the Hungarian part) appeared together in the shield positioned on the double-headed eagle coat of arms of the Austrian Empire as an inescutcheon. The eagle was inside a shield with a goldfield. The latter shield was supported by two griffins and was topped by the Austrian Imperial Crown (previously these items were included only in the large shield). Then, shown in the center of both arms of dominion, as an inescutcheon to the inescutcheon, is the small shield, i.e. personal arms, of the Habsburgs. All this was surrounded by the collar Order of the Golden Fleece
Middle Coat of arms of the Austrian part of the Empire in 1915. It shows as a center shield (inescutcheon) the personal arms of Habsburg-Lorraine over the arms of dominions of the Habsburg lands. It usually had the personal arms of Habsburg-Lorraine in the center.
In the heraldic composition of 1915, the shields of the two foci of the empire, Austria and Hungary, were brought together. The griffin supporter on the left was added for Austria and an angel on the right as a supporter for Hungary. The center featured the personal arms of the Habsburgs (Habsburg, Austria, and Lorraine). This small shield was topped with a royal crown and surrounded by the collar of the Order of the Golden Fleece, below which was the Military Order of Maria Theresa, below which was the collars of the Orders of St. Stephen's and Leopold. At the bottom was the motto that read "AC INDIVISIBILITER INSEPARABILITER" ("indivisible and inseparable"). Other simplified versions did not have the supports depicted, and the simple shields of Austria and Hungary. These were the arms of the Empire of Austria with an inescutcheon of Austria, and the Arms of Hungary (with chequer of Croatia at the tip).
Middle Common Coat of Arms of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1915 showing most of the larger possessions of the Austrian Empire (left shield) and the Kingdom of Hungary (right shield). The personal arms of the Habsburg-Lorraine are in the center. The collection of territories that acknowledged the head of the Habsburgs as personal ruler shown by this representation put the Empire at a distinct disadvantage in comparison with the unified nation-states that it shared the continent of Europe with.
^Fichtner, Paula Sutter (1976). "Dynastic Marriage in Sixteenth-Century Habsburg Diplomacy and Statecraft: An Interdisciplinary Approach". The American Historical Review. 81 (2): 243–265. 10.2307/1851170. 1851170.
^H. Ströhl: Die neuen österreichischen, ungarischen und gemeinsamen Wappen. Hrsg. auf Grund der mit d. allerhöchsten Handschreiben vom 10. u. 11. Okt. 1915, bezw. 2. u. 5. März 1916 erfolgten Einführung. Viena 1917.